Getting Started with Email Marketing for your Brand
So you are thinking of getting started on email marketing?
Well.. I need to confess. I have been kicking and screaming when it comes to email marketing. Back in 2018/early 2019 you would usually find me saying “It’s good to have newsletters and subscribers… but don’t spend too much time on it.“
I will be the first to admit- I was wrong.
The reason I felt that way, is because when I was still working for other people as their designer/marketer, I would help create these massive campaigns that were literally just big ‘commercials’ for the large brand.
Then I would look at the analytics of the campaigns…. and the numbers, for the subscribers the companies had, were pretty abysmal.
It wasn’t until I talked with more fellow marketers that I realized there is a huge missed opportunity when you don’t try email marketing.
So I have decided to A) start with how to get started and B) give you a few tips on email marketing (especially if you are handling it all by yourself first).
Let’s get started!
Getting Started with Email Marketing
It’s pretty easy to get started on email marketing…. you just kinda have to go sign up to a platform!
Haha, just kidding..
There are sooo many platforms out there. I do suggest you take your time to look at all the different platforms that handle email marketing. I would also suggest talking to a fellow business owner in your industry that you know is on email marketing platforms.
I personally use MailChimp. I really do like the simplicity and the fact you get 1000-2000 subscribers for FREE.
BUT I have also worked through the other platforms before and they weren’t too bad. At the end of the day, you should ALWAYS pick out what aligns best with your brand and the functionality you want it to serve.
You are also going to want to have a website with an email that actually uses your domain after the ‘@’ (like firstname.lastname@example.org).
It isn’t crazy necessary… but it definitely makes you that much more ‘legit’ in the customer’s eyes when they see that return address if they reply to your email!
Plus, having a website, is another great way to push subscribers to sign up besides just social media.
A few things on this:
1. I would include a freebie.
People aren’t usually giving out their email all willy nilly. If you give them something, they will usually give something in return (so that consent to be in their inbox). Yes, you may get the few that are just there for the free content and will unsubscribe a few weeks later… BUT that doesn’t matter if you start an authentic relationship with a customer/client that will eventually want to invest in your product or service. It’s about the long game. Not the short game #sports.
2. Be cautious of the ‘in your face’ pop-ups.
So what I mean when I say ‘in your face’ pop-ups is the flashy “ SIGN UP NOW” screens with the tiniest ‘exit screen x’. It annoys people. And I can confirm! When I had my first initial freebie when I opened Summer Street Creative, I had the pop-up. Before the pop-up, my analytics on my website wasn’t too bad. When I added the pop-up… oh those numbers were rough. (THE IMPORTANCE OF LOOKING AT YOUR ANALYTICS, but I digress)
How to create a freebie for email marketing
Ahhhh the ‘freebie’.
There is a lot of physiological-sciency stuff as too why this works. But to put it in simple terms: People like free stuff.
Your freebie or handout (or even a webinar, free class, ext), is an opportunity to not only have your ideal customer/client see a glimpse into your offerings but also so you can position yourself as the “ I know what I am talking about” person. AKA- Expert.
It’s building that trust and that relationship. So if said person where to invest in your product/service that they will have full confidence in the end outcome.
When you are starting to concept your freebie, think about your customers (go back to the customer profiles, STAT). What is there pain-point? Is there a common pain-point among your customer profiles (or customer avatars)?
When you see the pain point that keeps coming up – lean into it.
NOW you don’t want to lead with ‘fear’.
Instead, reposition the pain point into an unasked solution to the problem.
Let’s say you have a yoga business that focuses only on prenatal yoga.
The biggest pain point you found in your customer profiles is that your customers don’t understand what prenatal yoga is and how it can help them through their pregnancy.
An idea for a freebie for this pain point could be “Prenatal Yoga: Using Breath to easy morning sickness”
This offers a solution to HOW prenatal yoga could help them through their pregnancy.
Another idea is you could even create a free class online as an ‘introduction to prenatal yoga’. Give them a taste of how awesome these classes would make them feel.
Basically what I am saying: Get creative with it!
Now, try not to copy ‘what’s already out there’. Alternatively think ‘How can I make this better and more in line with my ideal customer’?
You want to create an offer that they just can’t say no to. Those are the BEST freebies.
Once you have determined what to write about, then all you have to do is get to creating!
You can hire a graphic designer or go on a platform such as Canva to create the actual freebie itself. There are SO many tutorials on Youtube if this is something you want to tackle solo.
Some tips to follow when you are getting your creative juices running for that freebie:
1. Make content simple and easy to read.
Seriously- nobody reads anymore I swear. Create copy that makes them intrigued and wanting to ask further questions to know more. Some of the highest performing handouts are worksheet style. Worksheets are something tangible and people can feel more ‘engaged’ if they are contributing the space. If you aren’t offering a worksheet style, see if you can ‘list out’ the copy. People are more inclined to consume list format content.
(Which side note: If you are one of those who is just reading the lists in this blog post, I see you 😎)
2. If you can, add as much imagery that the end-user may associate with.
Again, branding is all about that subconscious feeling people get. Have you already developed a ‘style’ of photos? Make it consistent!
3. Speaking of consistency.. make sure your brand identity is consistently displayed!
Nothing says ‘not trustworthy’ subconsciously to the end-user if there are different fonts, colors, and styles all over the place. (I dive a bit in developing that consistency on this blog post!)
4. Have a call to action at the end!
Whether its an additional discount for the aligned service/product in the freebie or a link to a free ‘consultation call’. You always need to direct the end-user where they should go!
5. If you can, add active links.
You may need to hire a designer to access the Adobe Acrobat Pro, but having a call to action button that links directly to where you want them to go is a much better user flow. Let’s be real, ain’t nobody got time to type in a long-ass URL (and that just looks bad). Having an active link may decrease your chances of a person second-guessing your call to action.
6. Compress the PDF file if you can… Nobody likes to get large ass files!
One of my go-to’s to decrease the PDF file size (without losing active links/attractiveness) is ilovepdf.com.
7. Make your Title Page Compelling AF!
Just like when you package your advertisements on social media, you want to make sure the outside ‘wrapping’ looks good enough to spend the time to even open. Add a photo! Make your title page and don’t be afraid of a little white space.
8. Keep it simple!
I know. I am adding this one again…
But I understand how tempting it is to add all the bells and selling points. But keep it simple. and think to yourself… is this actually helpful? Will the end person actually get something out of it? This handout is not an extension of your website – add those links- but dont add ALL THE THINGS.
Start with one freebie, especially if you are new. You can create so many different kinds of freebies, and create different subscriber sets/categories… But start simple.
Once you start to build up your relationships and business, you can socially listen to what your clients/customers are saying. They could be voicing an issue that may have been missed by you in the customer discovery step.
That way the end-user will feel like you actually are listening and can solve their problem.
After you get your handout all created, you now have to launch it out to the world!!
Now that you have created your freebie, you need to actually get it out there!
Where to ask if people want to sign up to your newsletter:
1. On your website! You can create a blog post that eludes to your free offering or have it in certain sections like a call to action. You can also A/B test your best locations on where to place your email subscribe call to action. For some… Just having a little bar at the top of their website has proven to work better then the in your face pop up. Test it! And think… If I was looking at a website, how would I like to be asked to sign up for a newsletter?
2. Your business’s social media! This also includes your LinkedIn that may be collecting dust…
3. Pinterest. Pinterest deserves its own video/blog post. But the nice thing with Pinterest is it reaches peoples outside of your location a bit easier than say Facebook.
4. Send an email, but not through your email marketing platform, but to people who are already interacting with your brand. Send a friendly “Hey, thanks for always being there. Here is this free thing, would love to have you signed up to keep up to date with our offerings”
5. Offer it in your Facebook groups or communities that you are already a part of!
Basically – anywhere your business is at, SHOUT IT!!
So now that you have subscribers… Now what?
Get to creating compelling and KICK-ASS newsletters, my friend!!
Even if you have just 10 subscribers, try to create a consistent schedule and method. You don’t want to go in with ‘promo after promo’ asking to buy buy buy. Chances are people will get annoyed and unsubscribe (and we don’t want that).
Instead you want to create content that the end-user will actually want to open and read.
This is a great place to showcase announcements, link a blog post (or latest video/podcast), offer some quick advice or even just to ask what they want to see from YOUR business.
Your email marketing should be 70-80% content for the user… the remaining 20-30% being calls to actions.
Again, your newsletter is just another way to build that trust and relationship (or in salesy terms: turning those cold leads to hot leads)!
Some tips for creating the newsletters:
1. Keep it simple.
Annoyed of me saying that yet? Try to not put tooo much graphics in your newsletter! I know its tempting when these platforms have alll these gorgeous templates.. but when you get an email that has a bunch of ‘buy this’ with all these colors and graphics, it comes across as a big commercial/advertisement. Instead, try to bring back the human connection and send an email like you would a friend. Just text. Maybe a giph or two… But even keep that simple.
2. Have a ‘schedule’ for when you send them.
So, say, if your only send one newsletter a month at the end of every month- BE consistent in sending that newsletter once at the end of every month indefinitely!
3. As you develop more freebies, occasionally send those to the people already subscribed as an extra ‘bonus’.
Again, all about building those relationships!!
4. Make sure your links are working!!
Seriously, test it out.
5. Make sure the content in the email has an actual PURPOSE.
Does it help your brand’s messaging? Does it still position your brand as the go-to?
I could chat forever about email marketing, and if you want a video/blog post on creating campaigns, that include email marketing, let me know down below or send me a direct message!
But honestly, have fun. This is just another tool to build relationships with your PEOPLE.
Email marketing is a lot of work… but it is definitely a great tool for your marketing plan for the long term gain.
Need any help on this topic? Book your free consultation now and let’s get chatting about your business!
Thank you for being you <3
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